Hartmann Group has always been a source of information for me in the position I hold now at Gateway ProClean, Inc. and when I did forecasting for Tyson Foods. I regularly check this website to help get a better grasp of the market place. It is so easy to get caught up in your life and what you like that it’s always good to take a step back and get more insights on the habits of others. No matter what, we’ve all been effected by this recession in one way or another. We are all trying to grasp and understand the changing money habits our customers have picked up. Hartmann Group’s Big Ideas 2010 Report has presented great information regarding food/marketing trends and how they relate with consumers. Hopefully you will find this report beneficial to your business. I love slide 57 where they go after some old trends being pushed as new. About time!

Does anyone have any other great innovation sites that they go to pick up the latest in consumer habits?

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Tags: Consumer, Food, Habits, Insights, Marketing, Trends


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Comment by Meghan Reed on January 29, 2010 at 6:38am
Hi Sarah, I definitely agree with your confusion on that part of the report. I am a big supporter of social media (obviously or I wouldn’t be on FohBoh) and understand the value it brings to me at a personal level and professionally. I‘ve had insight phone calls with this group before so I can tell you from my personal experience with them that they usually spot on and have the knowledge to back up their shock theories. They mention Apple as not doing social media, but there's an open source community in which Apple invites developers and programmers to view its "source code, learn from it and submit suggestions and modifications” and they are also reportedly working on some kind of software application that will consolidate all your existing social network accounts into one place. I dug deeper into Hartmann’s website and found a story regarding Mortin’s nightmare with social networking. I think the below statement will help clear up the angle they were coming at. Social media is so new and changes rapidly that unless you really know what you are doing and have a strong marketing plan you can inherently get incredibly bad responses and negative attitudes towards your brand. I believe this thinking is geared to their big power clients and not little brands. Those power brands have people/competitors just waiting for them to make one little mistake so they can tarnish their image.

2. The idea that social media is a very powerful medium is very true — but it works both ways

Nearly every client we speak with in our current epoch has expressed an interest to incorporate the power of social media and social networking into their marketing arsenal. The common refrain goes “Let us all channel the power of the internet to drive enhanced brand awareness and leverage our brand.”
While we surely do not disagree with this approach in theory, as we learned in this important case, the mechanics of practice are another story. The processes undergirding social media and social networking are far, far more complex and complicated than many wide-eyed marketers would lead us to believe.
For example, we believe it is often — though not always — desirable to consider careful ethnographic study of any online or socially-networked community before moving forward with a marketing plan that attempts to harness the social power of such communities. To do otherwise would risk your brand becoming vulnerable to the sort of firestorm event described above.
Comment by Sarah on January 28, 2010 at 4:58pm
Hey Meghan, thanks for sharing...The Hartman report had some interesting and thought provoking points. Id like to throw some of them out there that I had a hard time wrapping my head. In the introduction it claims "We always strive to initiate conversation, to begin a dialogue about the world around us what works? What doesn’t? How so? And Why?" yet throughout the presentation they bash social media and encourages us not to participate.

As a social media practitioner I feel this is way off base. Social media is ALL about initiating, joining, and continuing the conversation. It makes me wonder if they even understand the power of the reach of social media. It also claims that this “institution” (social media) is still under construction. Well, yeah it always will be. That’s the beauty of social media, its always improving. Its real time, peer to peer exchanges between people, friends and colleagues world wide. If organizations are waiting for someone to “get it right” they are going to miss the boat completely. There are a ton of best practice articles and research, and more daily, that will help guide any organization into the world of social media; a critical extension of any marketing department.

In this day in age, organizations must go to where their customers are. More and more research is suggesting that it is online. Social networking, social media, and online communication are not fads. It’s a fundamental shift in how we communicate…. and live our life.




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